Monday, January 30, 2023

Can Stress Cause Headaches And Dizziness

Health Anxiety And Dizziness

Stress-Neck Pain, Back Pain, Headaches and Dizziness

After vestibular disorders, psychiatric disorders are the second most common cause of dizziness. In fact, the World Health Organizations International Classification of Diseases includes diagnostic criteria for psychiatric vestibular disorders, which attributes vestibular symptoms to a psychiatric disorder. Between 10-15% of people who seek medical treatment for dizziness also have a psychiatric disorder, and people who frequently feel dizzy are at increased risk for developing a psychiatric disorder.

What Are The Symptoms Of Each Tension Headache

  • Tension headaches are usually felt as a band or across the forehead. They can be uncomfortable and tiring, but they do not usually disturb sleep. Some people feel a squeezing or pressure on their head.
  • It usually occurs on both sides, and often spreads down your neck, or seems to come from your neck. Sometimes it is just on one side.
  • The pain is usually moderate or mild. Tension headaches can interrupt concentration but are usually not bad enough to send you to bed. Most people can work through a tension headache if they really need to.
  • A tension headache can last from 30 minutes to seven days. Most last a few hours.
  • Tension headaches tend to become worse as the day goes on and are often mildest in the morning. They are not usually made worse by physical activity.
  • An exception to this would be a headache caused by sleeping in an awkward position, causing a sore neck, or an ache in the face and jaw due to tooth grinding.
  • There are usually no other symptoms.

Sometimes migraines are mistaken for chronic tension headaches. Some people don’t like bright lights or loud noises, and don’t feel like eating much when they have a tension headache. However, marked dislike of light or loud noise, and visual disturbances, like zigzag lines, are more suggestive of migraine. A mild feeling of sickness can occur, especially if you are using a lot of painkillers. However, marked nausea is, again, more a feature of migraine.

Cervical Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome occurs when painful trigger points develop in the muscles and surrounding connective tissues. When this condition is primarily felt in the neck region, it is called cervical myofascial pain syndrome. In addition to having tender trigger points than can flare up when touched or during activity, muscles can become achy and stiff, and pain can spread to the head or shoulders. While cervical myofascial pain syndrome is rare, it is estimated that about one-third of people with this condition also have dizziness. 2

Cervical myofascial pain syndrome has no known cause. Some suspected causes include previous injury, overuse or repetitive neck movements, poor posture, and/or stress. While the connection between this neck pain and dizziness is unclear, some evidence suggests that treating myofascial pain syndrome such as with trigger point injections, physical therapy, or medicationcan reduce both the pain and dizziness.3

See Home Remedies for Neck Pain and Dizziness

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Path To Improved Health

There are various types of headaches. Tension headaches are the most common type experienced by teens. They are usually caused by stress, tension, or depression. They can also be caused by eye strain and neck or back strain from having poor posture. Tension headaches usually cause a mild to moderate ache or pressure in a band across the forehead. Your teen might have this kind of headache occasionally or chronically .

Help your teen avoid tension headaches by following these tips:

  • Relax. Find ways to work in free time in a busy schedule. Manage your stress from family, friends, work, or school.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Skipping meals and not eating a nutritious diet can contribute to headaches.
  • Get enough sleep. Unplug from electronics and go to bed at a decent time each night.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. The effects of alcohol and drug use can cause headaches, as well as many other health problems.
  • Exercise your body. Physical activity reduces stress and helps you sleep better. Your body releases endorphins during exercise. These are your bodys natural painkillers.
  • Exercise your eyes. Eye strain causes headaches. As we spend more time staring at screens, its important to give your eyes a break. Look away from your screen at least every 20 minutes.
  • Use heat or ice. Apply heat, such as a heating pad, or an ice pack to sore muscles. A hot bath or shower may also help.
  • Watch your posture. Try to keep your back and shoulders straight when walking and sitting.

Functional Examination Of Motion Segments Of The Upper Cervical Spine Is Important In Diagnosing And Treating Vertigo

10 Signs of Dizziness &  When to Seek Help

Why do we find this one sentence so remarkable? Because this one line may be the answer for many of you reading this article. Lets explain.

The researchers suggest that you must examine the motion segments of the upper neck because it is the unresolved vertebral segments that are causing the problems. In our 26+ years of service in treating cervical neck disorders, we have found that many patients who come through our doors do not have an accurate diagnosis or assessment of their situation.

As you can see in the video below, DMX is a motion picture of the bones while a person is moving. It is a dynamic diagnostic tool, versus a static one. The scan is produced in real-time, while the person is moving his/her neck. Pain typically occurs with motion. By being able to see the bones in motion, DMX picks up abnormal or excessive motion whereas MRI, CT scan, and static x-rays do not.

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Cervical Vertebral Artery Vs Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

As mentioned above, dizziness can occur due to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or cervical vertebral artery dysfunctions. It is important to be able to differentiate between these two conditions.

Before conducting an assessment of the vertebral artery, it is important to consider if there are any risk factors which would alter or contraindicate testing. These include:

Testing Sequence

If you are assessing a patient and you are not sure their dizziness is vascular or vestibular, it is important to rule out the cervical vertebral artery first. The two key tests used are the cervical artery test and the modified cervical artery test.

The modified test is performed in sitting . As described by Dent, the procedure for this test is as follows:

This test is, in theory, designed to test the vascular supply to the brain while compromising the vertebral artery circulation. This enables the tester to see if any symptoms are reproduced. There is not, however, sufficient evidence to support this test as a means of ruling vertebrobasilar insufficiency out, but it is considered the best test at present. If cervical artery insufficiency is suspected, the patient must be referred to a physician for further testing.

BPPV is a peripheral disorder of the vestibular system.

BPPV is a short, episodic, mild to intense case of dizziness, which may involve nausea and vomiting.

The Dix-Hallpike

How Stress Affects Vision

When the body is stressed, your pupils dilate to allow more light to enter so you can see potential threats more clearly. However, high levels of adrenaline can cause pressure on the eyes, resulting in blurred vision.

Many patients are not always aware of the impact of stress on their visual health and function, says Barbara Horn, OD and president of the American Optometric Association. The ocular impact of stress may range from mild discomfort to severe, debilitating vision loss.

Yes, stress may be causing your eye twitching This lid twitching is a result of the continuous contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscle. The twitching is typically in just one eye, benign and temporary.

Stress also can lead to vision loss. Furthermore, stress not only causes new conditions but worsens existing conditions.

For example, research published in 2018 in theEPMA Journal concludes that ongoing psychological stress and the associated increased level of cortisol are risk factors in the development and progression of deteriorating vision.

The researchers analyzed hundreds of studies and clinical trials, concluding that while prolonged mental stress is clearly a consequence of vision loss, it may also aggravate the situation.

Cortisol can be one of the major causes of serious vision diseases, including glaucoma, optic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

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Understanding The Autoimmune Response

McIlwain points out that in autoimmune diseases like psoriatic arthritis, the body makes antibodies that attack its own tissues. When those antibodies affect the middle and inner ear, the result can be hearing loss and balance issues.

Researchers are just beginning to investigate how to thwart this autoimmune response. Assuming that the dizziness and hearing loss is part of the autoimmune problem, controlling the autoimmune process in psoriatic arthritis may help alleviate the problem, says McIlwain.

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Emotions And Vision Issues

Does vertigo cause headaches?

The term functional or hysterical vision loss is used to describe any vision impairment that cannot be explained by pathology or structural abnormalities. It has also been described as a conversion disorder.

This loss of vision occurs outside the patient’s conscious awareness.

The conversion is the repression of emotions that are converted to a significant reduction in vision. These patients complain of significant blur in the absence of refractive error or pathology .

These patients have no issues with ocular motility but do struggle with significant reduction in visual acuity. Their visual field is affected and appears to be tubular.

Hysterical amblyopia falls in line with Sarno’s belief that our minds want us to focus on the physical symptoms rather than the difficult emotions.

Resolution often occurs with awareness of the condition, low plus lenses and/or the consideration of counseling to assist the patient.

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What Do The Symptoms Of Vestibular Migraine Feel Like

Vestibular migraine is a type of migraine where you experience episodes of dizziness or imbalance lasting from minutes to days . The symptoms of vestibular migraine often occur without headaches. If headaches are experienced, they are often one-sided, pulsating and aggravated by physical activity.

Migraines are often thought of as painful headaches but they can involve many other symptoms. These symptoms can change over a persons lifetime so that the migraines people experience in their thirties or forties may be very different to the migraines they had in their teens.

During a vestibular migraine, symptoms may include:

  • vertigo and/or dizziness
  • imbalance or unsteadiness
  • feeling unable to tolerate movements such as bending down, looking up or turning the head, especially if they are quick
  • sensitivity to light and/or noise and/or certain busy visual environments
  • visual disturbance
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • tinnitus
  • a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear.

How Can I Prevent Headaches

The key to preventing headaches is figuring out what triggers them. Triggers are very specific to each person what gives you a headache may not be a problem for others. Once you determine your triggers, you can avoid or minimize them.

For example, you may find that strong scents set you off. Avoiding perfumes and scented products can make a big difference in how many headaches you have. The same goes for other common triggers like troublesome foods, lack of sleep and poor posture.

Many people, however, are not able to avoid triggers or are unable to identify triggers. In that case, a more personalized multidisciplinary approach with a headache specialist is often necessary.

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How Are Headaches Evaluated And Diagnosed

If you have headaches often or if they are very severe, reach out to your healthcare provider. You can usually start with your family physician, where the diagnosis process will begin. Its important to diagnose headaches correctly so that specific therapy can be started to help you feel better. Your healthcare provider will complete a physical examination, discuss your medical history and talk to you about your headache symptoms. This conversation is part of a headache evaluation. During the headache evaluation, your provider will ask you about your headache history, including:

  • A description of your headaches.
  • What the headaches feel like.
  • How often the headaches happen.
  • How long the headaches last each time.
  • How much pain the headaches cause you.
  • What foods, drinks or events trigger your headaches.
  • How much caffeine you drink each day.
  • What your stress level are.
  • What your sleep habits are like.
  • If you have any work issues.

Your headache can be more accurately diagnosed by knowing:

  • When the headache started.
  • How long you have had the headache.
  • Whether there is a single type of headache or multiple types of headaches.
  • How often the headache occurs.
  • What causes the headache, if known .
  • If physical activity aggravates the headache pain.
  • What events are associated with the headache.
  • Who else in your family has headaches.
  • What symptoms, if any, occur between headaches.

Clinical description of headaches

History of headache treatments

Causes Of A Headache In The Elderly

Treat Stress

When older people are concerned, the diagnosis is a bit different from younger people and sometimes the consequences are even more serious. Primary headaches are quite common in the elderly.

However, they may be an indication of more serious underlying conditions that are age-associated. Chronic medications can cause pharmacy induced kinds of headaches.

Clinicians are supposed to determine the possible causes and accurate way to offer medications that can help.

The elderly are more prone to the primary kind of headaches such as tension headaches or migraines. A hypnic headache is also rare but can be seen in older adults secondary headaches are also quite common and can be closely related to polypharmacy or comorbid conditions.

Such issues can be life-threatening. When the elderly are concerned, the doctor has to rule out the secondary issues that could be a representation of more urgent condition before they settle for the primary syndromes.

Tension headaches are common in the elderly, but the severity and in frequency usually reduce as we age.

Migraines are also common in older adults. This could be caused by intracranial hemorrhage, seizure disorder, and transient ischemic attack.

A hypnic headache is also common in older adults and can be moderate to mild it could be caused by sleep apnea, using angiotensin, pituitary tumors, posterior fossa, and nocturnal hypertension.

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Anxiety Dizziness Lightheaded Symptom Description:

  • You feel dizzy, lightheaded, faint, off balance, unsteady, that you might faint or pass out, or that you might fall over.
  • It might also feel as though you are walking on a boat on water.
  • It can feel as if the floor beneath you is moving up and down or swaying from side to side.
  • It can also feel like you are so off-balance that your legs may not support you.
  • It can feel like you are unsteady or that its hard to keep your balance.
  • You might also have difficulty placing your feet because your perception of the ground or floor may seem wrong or incorrect.
  • In some cases, it may seem that even though you are standing on a firm floor, the floor may be vibrating or moving.
  • It can also feel like the room is trembling, swaying, rocking, or moving.
  • It can also feel like your surroundings are moving, shaking, rocking, or vibrating.
  • While you haven’t passed out yet, you think you might. The prospect may frighten you.
  • You might also think, “What if I pass out, what will everyone think of me?” The thought of passing out frightens you, which can cause more symptoms and fear.
  • This symptom can be accompanied by darting eyes.
  • It can also feel like theres a spinning feeling or pressure in your head.
  • This dizziness lightheaded feeling can also be experienced as a sudden dizzy/lightheaded spell that comes out of nowhere and then disappears shortly afterward.

Dizziness anxiety lightheaded symptoms or spells can come and go suddenly, come and linger, or persist indefinitely.

To name a few.

Dizziness And The Elderly

Many older people experience dizziness. They feel unsteady while standing, or light-headed. Its more difficult to find a clear in older people, because usually multiple complaints play a role. The most common causes of dizziness at a later age are a poor physical condition, weaker muscles, a worsened sense of balance and poor vision. Medicine can also contribute to the feeling of dizziness, which is a side-effect of certain drugs. This is stated in the package leaflet.

We unfortunately have had to add two common causes to this list in recent years: loneliness and anxiety. Loneliness causes sombreness and depression. The fatigue related to this could lead to a floating feeling or dizziness. Older people who live alone, often worry more.

Minor setbacks in daily life can cause emotions to run high because of anxiety and tension. This can lead to a slower or faster heartbeat, which causes a feeling of light-headedness. If tensions run very high, one can even faint.

Do you experience these complaints and do you worry a lot? Talk about it with your loved ones and ask your doctor for advice. They will gladly help you overcome your complaints

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How Are Headaches Treated

One of the most crucial aspect of treating headaches is figuring out your triggers. Learning what those are typically by keeping a headache log can reduce the number of headaches you have.

Once you know your triggers, your healthcare provider can tailor treatment to you. For example, you may get headaches when youre tense or worried. Counseling and stress management techniques can help you handle this trigger better. By lowering your stress level, you can avoid stress-induced headaches.

Not every headache requires medication. A range of treatments is available. Depending on your headache type, frequency and cause, treatment options include:

Stress management

Stress management teaches you ways to cope with stressful situations. Relaxation techniques are helpful in managing stress. You use deep breathing, muscle relaxation, mental images and music to ease your tension.


Biofeedback teaches you to recognize when tension is building in your body. You learn how your body responds to stressful situations and ways to settle it down. During biofeedback, sensors are connected to your body. They monitor your involuntary physical responses to headaches, which include increases in:

  • Breathing rate.
  • Brain activity.


Occasional tension headaches usually respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers. But be aware that using these medications too often can lead to a long-term daily headache.

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